Wake Forest 69
Youngstown State @ NC State
Presbyterian @ NC State
from Wake Forest site at wakeforestsports.cstv.com:
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Freshman Travis McKie recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead Wake Forest to a 69-67 over UNC Greensboro Wednesday evening at the Joel Coliseum.
The Demon Deacons improve to 6-4 on the year, while the Spartans remain winless at 0-9.
McKie grabbed seven rebounds in each half and was just one board away from tying his career-high. He was also very efficient on offense, shooting 7-of-9 from the floor and 2-of-3 from the free throw line.
Wake Forest also got a spark off the bench from freshman J.T. Terrell and sophomore Ari Stewart who scored 14 points and 12 points, respectively. The Deacs had 28 total points off the bench compared to just 11 for the Spartans.
The Demon Deacons also had a solid rebounding edge over the Spartans, winning the battle of the boards 41-28.
Wake Forest got off to a quick start and grabbed a 9-3 lead, including the first five points of the game. Sophomore C.J. Harris provided four of the points during the run, while RS junior Nikita Mescheriakov scored three points.
The Spartans then hit four consecutive free throws and got a layup from Brandon Evans to tie the game at 9-9. Wake Forest and UNCG then traded buckets to make the score 11-11 before the Demon Deacons went on a 10-2 run to again build separation.
Senior Gary Clark sparked the run by converting a three-point play after drawing contact on a fastbreak layup and connecting on the ensuing free throw. A Spartan basket momentarily halted the Deacon run before a 3-pointer by Stewart and back-to-back baskets by Mescheriakov and Terrell gave Wake a 21-13 advantage.
The Spartans battled back and were able to take their only lead of the half at 24-23 when Aloysius Henry hit a free throw with 7:16 remaining in the half.
Harris answered with a pair of free throws less than a minute later to give Wake Forest the lead for the remainder of the half. Clark helped the Deacs capture a six-point halftime lead at 36-30 with a 3-pointer at the 1:08 mark.
UNCG narrowed the deficit to 42-39 just over three minutes into the second half and had the chance to cut it to one with Kyle Randall going to the line for a pair of free throws. Randall made the first and missed the second, but David Williams corralled the offensive rebound, made the layup and hit the free throw after being fouled to give UNCG another one-point lead at 43-42 with 16:19 remaining in the game.
Each team would then go on a run that would leave the score tied at 57-57 with 6:50 left to play. Wake Forest first went on an 11-2 run that was immediately followed by a 12-4 run by the Spartans.
The Deacs trailed for the final time when they saw themselves down 60-59. Stewart hit two free throws to give Wake the lead for the duration of the game at 4:56.
McKie then swayed the momentum in favor of the Deacons just over a minute later when he rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Stewart and completed the three-point play to make the score 64-60 with 3:42 to go.
Wake Forest held onto its four-point lead as late as 68-84 when Stewart hit a free throw with 1:07 remaining.
Evans made it a one-possession game with 54 seconds in the game when he hit 1-of-2 from the line. After a Wake Forest turnover, UNCG had a chance to tie the game when Randall was fouled and hit a jumper in the paint. He could not get the free throw to fall, and Walker secured the rebound.
McKie was sent to the line with nine seconds on the clock and made one free throw, giving the Spartans one more chance to tie or win the game. A solid defensive stand by Wake caused an offensive scramble for UNCG and the Spartans were not able to get off a shot in the waning seconds.
Wake Forest will travel to Cincinnati to play Xavier at the Cintas Center on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Second Annual Skip Prosser Classic. The game with be Wake’s first true road game of the season.